The FFICM Examination

The Final Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FFICM) exam is an essential component of assessment for a CCT in ICM. It is taken in Stage 2 of training and is a prerequisite for transition to the third and final stage of training.

 1.    Written paper

·       3 hr exam consisting of 50 MTF and 50 SBA questions

·       Must be passed prior to the second part of the FFICM

·       Two sittings per year

2.    Structured Oral Exam and OSCE

·       Taken on a single day

·       Both parts must be passed

·       A pass in one component can be carried forward to the next sitting

·       Must be passed within three years of the written being passed

·       Two sittings per year 

More information, including eligibility, dates and fees, can be found on the FFICM website. 


Despite the relative infancy of the exam, Intensive Care trainees in the Thames Valley region benefit from an established network of support. Those taking the exam will have already undertaken at least one set of post-graduate exams and will have experience and understanding of the processes involved in completing a challenging exam. However, there is an ever-increasing bank of experience of trainees and consultants willing to give help and advice…

‘There’s three things you need to remember for the SOE - Practise, practise, practise!’

‘You need to know you’re medicine’

‘I passed, so you’ll be fine’

…which you can use as you see fit! 

The region also benefits from a consultant body willing to support trainees in exam preparation which is of particular relevance to the SOE. The monthly regional teaching programme for Stage 1 and 2 is mapped to the curriculum over a two year period with the objective of covering the spectrum of a wide syllabus prior to sitting the exam. The practice MCQs, SBAs and SOEs are incorporated into each session, further supporting that focus.


Our advice as a trainee body would be to book onto as many courses as you can get study leave for, the more time dedicated to practise the better. Getting an idea of the running of the stations, style of questioning and stamina required, helps to build confidence and competence.

Below are the all of the course we care currently aware of:

Oxford FFICM exam course

An excellent course run biannually prior to each SOE/OSCE sitting. It is FREE for Thames Valley trainees, a day of practise, practise, practise!


Leeds/London College Course

The college run a two day course for the SOE/OSCE in Leeds or at RCoA in London. This course is invaluable, with a days of small group tutorials on some tricky topics and a day of OSCE and SOE practise. Tends to get fully booked (only 32 places) before the MCQ results day so take a punt and book early (they do refund if you are unsuccessful in the MCQ as there is a waiting list)!

FFICM Exam Preparatory Course


Wessex ICM Society (PINCER course):

There is an excellent course, also for the SOE/OSCE run in Portsmouth, well rated amongst Oxford trainees.

Wessex’s Course


Stoke on Trent

Stoke offer a one day FFICM SOE/VIVA practice day, don’t have any reviews I’m afraid but sounds like good practise.

Stoke Final FFICM


Manchester FFICM Prep Course

One day course, few lectures and a full run through of OSCE and SOE. Based at North Manchester Hospital. Easy parking, cheap overnight accommodation and well run course. Less formal than the college course. Can highly recommend. Contact Dr Shafee Shaikh ( Dr James Hanison ( approx £80.


The Welsh OSCE/OSE Course

Again I’m afraid no reviews but at £40 for a day of practise I don’t think you can go wrong! Based in Swansea, for booking and dates email:

External resources

These are wide reaching and personal to individual learning styles. These are merely a suggestion of some useful resources:


An Australian site with a huge wealth of information and bank of laboratory and radiological data to aid revision. Thames Valley currently pay for 20 trainees to have access to this site. Logins are distributed accordingly as trainees approach the exam.

Life in the Fast Lane

A brilliant resource to obtain quick and up to date information on critical care topics. Click on CCC (Critical Care Compendium) and search away! Also has a great ECG quiz!

The Bottom Line

A compendium of all the landmark papers which are shaping the way we manage our critically ill patients. Each paper has been summarised and critiqued ending with a 'bottom line' paragraph. The papers are reviewed and cross checked by the editorial group.


A FOAMed site with useful advice and resources aimed at those sitting the exam.

5MinSono Logo.jpg

Revising ECHO views and findings

Great resource for the those not familiar with ECHO view and findings. 5 minute videos and podcasts. ECHO is coming up in the exam more and more frequently.

Text Books

The range on offer is expanding as the exam develops and it is difficult to recommend particular texts but here are a few:

Text Books 1.jpg

Other Resources 


ICU Trials

Phone app (approx £1.50) giving brief synopsis of relevant trials allowing bedside access to evidence base.

Updated Jan 2019